Does Immigration Impact Institutions?

J. R. CLARK, ROBERT LAWSON, ALEX NOWRASTEH, BENJAMIN POWELL, RYAN MURPHY
PUBLIC CHOICE 163: 3-4 (2015): 321-335

Abstract: The economics literature generally finds a positive, but small, gain in income to native-born populations from immigrants and potentially large gains in world incomes. But immigrants can also impact a recipient nation’s institutions. A growing empirical literature supports the importance of strong private property rights, a rule of law, and an environment of economic freedom for promoting long-run prosperity. But little is known about how immigration impacts these institutions. This paper empirically examines how immigration impacts a nation’s policies and institutions. We find no evidence of negative and some evidence of positive impacts in institutional quality as a result of immigration.